A University of Alabama fan accused of poisoning oak trees two years ago at Auburn University is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, which could delay his Oct. 1 trial, according to an Alabama news report.
Harvey Updyke, 64, has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to multiple charges after admitting on a radio call-in show that he committed the crime on the Tigers’ campus in 2010.
A week ago, Updyke was arrested again in Hammond, La., for allegedly promising to “come back and take care of everyone” after he argued with a Lowe’s store over a refund for a returned lawnmower.
According to the Ledger-Enquirer, Updyke surrendered for psychiatric testing at an Alabama state mental facility on Thursday after his bond was revoked in the tree-poisoning case because of his arrest on a terrorizing charge in the home improvement store incident.
Updyke’s lawyers has asked the Lee County judge hearing the tree-poisoning case to delay the trial to give them more time to prepare a defense. A mental evaluation also could take weeks, the newspaper reported, quoting a court official. Defense attorneys also want the trial moved out of Auburn due to media attention.
Police say Updyke used a powerful herbicide on oak trees in Toomer’s Corner. The Tigers had defeated Alabama 28-27 during the 2010 football season.